March 7, 2008

Dems 2008: Samantha Power outage [Karl]

Samantha Power, one of Barack Obama’s “non-ideological” senior foreign policy advisers, is  currently on a globe-trotting PR jaunt for her new book on Sergio Vieira de Mello, the UN special envoy killed in Iraq in 2003.  Power is not exactly distinguishing herself.

During an interview with The Scotsman, Power called Obama’s rival, Hillary Clinton, a “monster.”  Tres diplomatique, Ms. Power.

In an interview with England’s New Statesman magazine, Power stated that Obama would engage with Iran’s Pres. Ahmadinejad, as well as with North Korea and Syria.  But she was tripped up when asked if there was anyone he wouldn’t talk to – answering, “Not among elected heads of state. He won’t talk to Hamas, but he would talk to Abbas.”  The interviewer then noted that Hamas was democratically elected, and Abbas’s party, Fatah, lost the last popular vote.  What followed was a verbal flopsweat so profound that the interviewer notes:

Power’s demeanour is so different by this point that I don’t believe she’s convinced by what she’s saying. Dissembling does not come at all easily to her, and if she is to be part of an Obama White House she will have to learn to deliver the odd fib more persuasively.

This is not the first time Power has stumbled over her own views.  In an interview with Haaretz, Schmuel Rosner asked Power about a 2002 interview which could reasonably be interpreted as Power supporting a ground invasion of Israel and the Palestinian territories:

Power herself recognizes that the statement is problematic. “Even I don’t understand it,” she says. And also: “This makes no sense to me.” And furthermore: “The quote seems so weird.” She thinks that she made this statement in the context of discussing the deployment of international peacekeepers. But this was a very long time ago, circumstances were different, and it’s hard for her to reconstruct exactly what she meant. Anyway, what she she said five years ago is less important that what she wants to say now: She absolutely does not believe in “imposing a settlement.” Israelis and Arabs “will negotiate their own peace.”

In reality, it is not at all difficult to reconstruct what Power meant, as Martin Kramer has done at his blog:  Power was supporting her then-colleague Michael Ignatieff’s proposal to impose and enforce a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a commitment of US troops.  Kramer drily observes:

It must be awful, at such a young age, to lose track of why you recommended the massive deployment of military force, and not that long ago.

Power gave Haaretz the excuse that this is not exactly her field.  That has in no way impeded Power from very publicly opining, for example, that the US invaded Iraq out of deference to Israel’s interests — a view even more extreme than that currently held by Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt (authors of the now-infamous “Israel Lobby” paper and book).  At the American Thinker, Richard Baehr and Ed Lasky note other instances of her anti-Israel bias, including comments on the Jenin non-massacre that now may be more extreme than those of the editor of The Guardian, who recently apologized for his paper’s controversial editorial following Israel’s incursion into the Jenin refugee camp in 2002.

The subject on which Power can claim expertise is genocide, having won a Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for her book, Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, which has received acclaim across the political spectrum.  However, her book’s advocacy for intervention to stop genocide — particularly US intervention to do so — would seem to run smack into Obama’s most well-known policy position of prompt withdrawal from Iraq.  The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff recently commented that a rapid withdrawal from Iraq would lead to a “chaotic situation” and would “turnaround the gains we have achieved, and struggled to achieve, and turn them around overnight.”  But perhaps Power does not care as much about a genocide that can be rationalized as caused by the wrong-headed policy of the evil BushCo.  After all, if Hillary Clinton is a “monster,” one can only imagine what she thinks of Pres. Bush.

(h/t Memeorandum.)

Update:  Power resigns after apologizing for calling Clinton a monster, saying the comment did not reflect her true feelings about Clinton.  The remarks about the US invading Iraq at the bidding of the Joos “special interests,” however, apparently remain operative and were not decried by the Obama campaign.

Posted by Karl @ 7:00am
56 comments | Trackback

Comments (56)

  1. Oh, I don’t know, Karl. I think she’s distinguishing herself.

  2. I agree Dan. She is certainly making herself stand out as a scholar and an advisor. Truly charting her own course.

  3. She’s no Nat Portman.

  4. Sorry. Shifting between threads isn’t always smooth for me.

  5. Now, what do I have to do to dissociate myself from it?

  6. Other peoples’ kids; what are you gonna do?

    And this is what passes for “expert” in foreign policy advising these days.

    I believe his policy types look better than the economic side of the house, truth be told.

  7. Tmj – Given their knack of back channel communications with our trading partners, that is pretty faint praise, no? lol

  8. I have occasional memory laspes and and even some false memories (hallucinations?). I blame it on growing up during the 60′s. Though Powers is too young to be a flower child, I think the same chemical agents that rearranged my synapses are still available.

  9. Sergio was where he was cause he wanted to showcase the UN’s more enlightened approach to conflict. He really a lot succeeded I think, and Samantha sounds really just as enlightened if not even more.

  10. This is just another brick in the far left wall that reveals Obama’s true political nature.

    I apologize now to Jeff G., happyfeet, Ric Locke and anybody else I may offend but either one of the Dem’s presidential candidates will cause me to vote for McCain. In fact, it will cause me to get involved in the election at a level far deeper than any other time.

    I’ll sleep well and will require no alchohol.

  11. Oh. Not at all. I have a surfeit of zestful McCain enthusiasm now. I’m gonna freeze some for when he’s president.

  12. I think the McCain presidency will be much like the Bush presidency: “Oh, thank God! Look at the bullet we dodged by electing HIM!!!”

  13. McCain is my new Rascal Scooter.

  14. BJ – I think that happy and I came to that same conclusion in the last couple weeks. Given the vapidity of Barry O, and Hill/Bill being Hill/Bill, I could not sit this one out. It does not matter that I will be puking a little in the back of my mouth when I do it. I will donate to, and volunteer for, if asked … not that they need much help in red red red Indiana.

  15. “impose and enforce a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a commitment of US troops.”

    Sure – carrier air support, enough strategic assets nearby to keep the rest of the enemy in line, and maybe some ‘phib landings in Egypt to seize the canal and secure Israel’s southern buffer zone.

    What, that’s not what they had in mind?

  16. Ah, Indiana, thee “show me again” state.

  17. Hoosier Daddy? What’s on Maury today?

  18. Oh, I’m gonna vote for McCain, BJ.

    I voted for Obama in the Texas Democratic primary. Actually I didn’t. I voted against Hillary!. There are people in the world I would not vote for as an “against” for Hillary!, but not many, and none of them have showed up yet. (Obama would be dangerous if I thought he could actually get anything done.)

    Unlike happyfeet, I haven’t managed any McCain enthusiasm, and I doubt I will. But once again, there are very few if any Republicans I wouldn’t vote for as an “against” any of these particular Democrats.

    Regards,
    Ric

  19. The Power outage is complete. Buh bye, now!

  20. JD: It’s not Obama’s vapidity so much as what he “really” stands for. This guy is the socialist wolf in changytudinous sheep’s clothing. CraigC’s video link and Michelle’s constant victimization memes have tipped me over the edge on this guy as a potentially dangerous provacature for surrender foreign policy and nannystatism.

    I’m not real happy with John McCain but there’s no way I’m going to sit around and let Hillary burnish her legacy or let Obama attempt to fundamentally remake America into Sweden.

  21. I am no Hoosier. No way. No how. I just happen to live in suburban Indianapolis.

    Can’t someone help Michelle with the fruit? What is a lady to do if she cannot afford or is incapable of keeping fresh fucking fruit in her home? Oh, the humanity.

    BJ – I agree, the most liberal socialist we have seen in some time. He packages it well in the sense that he never outright says it, just hides it in documents on his campaign site.

  22. SI SE PUEDE ! Beeyotches !!!!!!!!!

  23. Well, at least she is not that stupid, and not indirectly responsible for Hamas being so powerful..

  24. So gosh darn powerful.

  25. in Palestinian territories Hamas rules, Fatah lost to them remember, HF?

  26. Btw HF, if HC runs again Johnny Mac, I’m about ready to vote for him.
    Foreign policy is my main concern. Since her and John are almost the same, might as well vote for the person that grates on my nerves the least…

  27. It’s like los NS Alley Locos in North Hollywood. Crazy powerful. Respect is key. What helps is if you tremble just a little.

  28. Ohnoes. They are really dissimilar in respect to the people they would draw upon I think. Reward, I mean. The Supreme Court is our only hope, Obi Wan. It paradoxically alone is gonna be the best check on McCain’s baser retarded impulses like his wacky climate change theories. But not just the court. Also for the media to have to spend 8 more years going to the ex-Bill Administration Officials well for comment is in itself a very noble goal.

  29. Scottish, not Irish. All the British spies over the world are Scottish. Irish missed out, except for Kennedy, etc. and it probably had a lot to do with the Bond movies. Powers became Chayes. Notice the hands out like Jesus and the eyes. A monster.

    Besides, she was like Bewitched. Jesus couldn’t miss.

    She wanted those troops and that’s all you hear in NGO work.

  30. “Unlike happyfeet, I haven’t managed any McCain enthusiasm, and I doubt I will. But once again, there are very few if any Republicans I wouldn’t vote for as an “against” any of these particular Democrats.”

    I don’t think these two are incredibly worse than any prospective Dem nominee, nevertheless I’m currently in the same boat. Not going to fault those who won’t vote for any of them, as threats to individual liberty, however.

    As it is, I’m enjoying throwing shit at all three without abandon.

  31. I am just SHOCKED at this turn of events: all of you brave partisans, haters of McCain, are going to fall in line and do what you’re told! Just shocked.

    I would never have expected JD, BJ, Ricy, et. al. would vote for McCain! After all the chest thumpings and gnashing of teeth, it comes down to the well-trained doing what they do best.

    Don’t worry, Jeff G will be joining you some time this summer when some “outrage” inspires him to repudiate his move to Idaho. You were all going to vote for McCain.

    On a different note, is it so revolutionary to suggest Israel wanted Hussein gone and people who like Israel were more than happy, for a variety of reasons, to help. Contrary to Karl’s cartoon like assertions, noting neo-conservative thinkers and policy-makers from Cheney on down want to protect Israeli interests is not anti-Semitic. It’s called reality. There’s a reason Larry Wilkerson and Colin Powell referred to Doug Feith and Wurmser as “card-carrying members of the Likud party.”

    Jewish special interest groups don’t control this government, just like no special interest group does, but, there were a whole hell of lot of reasons for neo-cons to want to invade Iraq and the fact that Hussein’s removal would help Israel and deal a blow to the Palestinian recipients of his cash sure helped make it look even better.

    The Guardian, for instance, did an investigation to actual ties between more hawkish members of both country’s foreign policy establishments and reached the conclusion that Likud and the folks running the Pentagon were very close.

    Why is saying that off-limits, whereas saying the Albanian government lobbied NATO very hard to stop the Serbs in Kosovo wouldn’t be?

    Point is, it’s not, and it’s conventional wisdom outside of PW that some portions of the American right wing identify strongly with right wing Israelis and vice versa and, when a policy comes along that might benefit both countries interests mesh, those people like it.

    Fact is, Samantha Powers conclusion re: genocide are right. Her opinions regarding Senator Clinton are right. Her media skills need a lot of work.

    It says something about American campaigns that kerfluffles matter and big ideas don’t. Personally, I blame the media. You people will always nitpick (outrage at progress is your nature), but providing information with no context is silly. The Scotsman should have known better.

  32. IJS – You are fucking brilliant, a soothsayer, if you will. Or, a twatwaffle. Either way, you are predictable, tedious, and boring.

  33. Obama seems to like powerful women who can’t wait to use him as a stepladder for what they want to talk about.

  34. IJS: Those republican cartoons braying in your head? They’re not real.

    The Guardian, for instance, did an investigation…

    BWAAAAAA HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! WHEEEEEEEE!

    Good one IJS.

  35. outrage at progress is your nature

    Depends on the progress, don’t it?

  36. the US invaded Iraq out of deference to Israel’s interests

    there were a whole hell of lot of reasons for neo-cons to want to invade Iraq and the fact that Hussein’s removal would help Israel and deal a blow to the Palestinian recipients of his cash sure helped make it look even better

    Keep reading those two statements, ijs. It might help if you read them aloud. When you are able to recognize they don’t say the same thing, (hint: there were a whole hell of lot of reasons for neo-cons to want to invade Iraq) then your reading comprehension and cognitive skills might be such that you can post here without looking like a fool.

    Maybe.

  37. Heh, BMoe: Hope springs eternal with you, doesn’t it? I like that about you. All hopey and such.

  38. That Powers chick had(s) some healthy-sized cans, all I’m saying.

  39. Pingback: Dems 2008: Change we can't believe in! [Karl]

  40. “Israel wanted Hussein gone and people who like Israel were more than happy, for a variety of reasons, to help.”

    “neo-conservative thinkers and policy-makers from Cheney on down want to protect Israeli interests”

    “there were a whole hell of lot of reasons for neo-cons to want to invade Iraq and the fact that Hussein’s removal would help Israel and deal a blow to the Palestinian recipients of his cash sure helped make it look even better.”

    “Likud and the folks running the Pentagon were very close”

    “some portions of the American right wing identify strongly with right wing Israelis and vice versa and, when a policy comes along that might benefit both countries interests mesh, those people like it.”

    Waitaminute – you’re saying that these are bad things?

  41. There’s a reason Larry Wilkerson and Colin Powell referred to Doug Feith and Wurmser as “card-carrying members of the Likud party.”

    Yes, much the same reason as Joe McCarthy had, I expect.

  42. IJS, what the hell are you babbling about? The fact that some on here complained, rather strongly, about McCain while the nomination was still up in the air and now are pledging their vote to him confuses you? Well, given your comments, I’m sure it does. But genius, it’s really rather simple. You see, before he was the nominee and running against OTHER republicans, he was a bad choice. But now, and stay with me here, he’s running against a shiny happy changey socialist and a Clinton. Who do you think they’re gonna vote for?

    The rest of your little whinefest was well, silly as usual. And the replies that followed more than answered your comment.

  43. That Powers chick had(s) some healthy-sized cans, all I’m saying.

    And she can talk and shift gears while driving. TheyShe’ll be sorely missed on the campaign.

  44. Aside from all of the other nonsense, they key jewel in his crown is wrong.

    Israeli leadership was, if anything, quietly skeptical of the war in Iraq. They knew that the neo-Conservative dream of democracy in Iraq was a pipe dream.

  45. IJS, what the hell are you babbling about?

    Why — nothing, I’m sure. He’s just saying.

  46. Jd, you wanking gutless coward voting for McCain. U know I told yo so pretty much cleaned your clock. Maybe Ms. Powers can get a job on the Straight Talking Express? I think he’d prefer her over anyone from the PW’s peanut gallery.

    Yikes, you live in Indiana. That figures. Makes Vermont seem like the Alps.

    thanks for the compliment: “predictable, tedious, and boring”. like the last time…. you used to be more creative.

    Dan called this one. Power Outage! Buy a beer for the man!

  47. Karl too.

  48. Fuck you datadave. Fuck you in the ass with a dildo of rusty nails and broken glass.

    Oops. Did I say that?

    You owe Darleen an apology, you small pathetic little pseudo-man.

  49. hmmmm. And you’d pass up Darleen’s choc. vagina? Seems a little twisted.

  50. dicklessdave – Did you apologize yet for smearing Darleen?

  51. U know I told yo so pretty much cleaned your clock.

    Here you go nishi, I think we got you a live one.

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  53. Like every self-respecting BDS sufferer, Powers is able to dis GW even when she agrees with his policies. From her NYT article “Our War on Terror” of last July:

    The Bush administration’s unwillingness to admit failure causes it to cling to a flawed approach rather than revisit its premises, adopt a new strategy or experiment with new tactics.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/29/books/review/Power-t.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2

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